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Celestron TrailSeeker 8x42 Binocular Review (Model 71404)

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celestron trailseeker 8x42 binoculars
Image Credit - Celestron

Magnification: 8X
Power Variability: Fixed
Objective Diameter: 42 mm
Close Focus Distance: 6.5 feet
Dimensions: 5.5 x 5.1 x 2 inches
Weight: 23.1 ounces
Field of View: 426 feet/1000 yards
Eye Relief/Exit Pupil: 17 mm/5.25 mm
Optics Coatings: Fully Broadband Multi-Coated
Glass: BAK-4
Prism System: Roof
Focus System: Center
Waterproof/Fog-proof: Yes/Yes
Eye cups: Metal Twist up
Tripod adaptable: Yes
Rangefinder: No

Best Uses: Hunting, For the Range, Birdwatching, Wildlife Observation

Celestron TrailSeeker 8x42

This Celestron TrailSeeker 8X42 binocular seems to have it all with their dielectric and phase coated BAK4 prisms with fully broadband multi-coated optics and an extremely huge 426 feet field of view. You've also got the metal twist up eyecups, an impressive close focus distance of 6.5 feet, and it's tripod adaptable, all on a magnesium alloy chassis that belies its light weight of 23.1 ounces.

Online, it has a near perfect rating. And, this isn't with mere numbers either, there are dozens of consumers weighing in on the excellent feature-packed binocular, almost all of them give the big double thumbs up. That's impressive for one of the most expensive Celestron binoculars we have reviewed so far, and for this sized review base.

As you can tell by the raving introduction, we like this binocular a lot so our decision to review it is probably not a surprising one. It's going to be the best bang for your buck binocular you'll read about here today.

Now, if you're ready to get into all the details of the high-end features on this low budget binocular under $200, here's the Q&A.


  • Price
  • Tripod adaptable
  • High quality coatings
  • Fully weatherproof
  • Large field of view


  • Bulky design

TrailSeeker 8x42 Binocular Q&A:

What are dielectric coatings?

Roof prism binoculars at their base are inferior to porro prism binoculars. But, with the right coating technology, they can be the optical prism champions.

There is an angled surface in the prism assembly that's incapable of reflecting light internally, and so it needs two sets of specially formulated coatings to be have an efficient light reflecting surface.

One set is the mirror coating and this is the dielectric coating. It's not silver or aluminum like what low budget binoculars typically use, it has dielectric elements to behave like a dielectric mirror - what you would find on very high quality and high end mirrors.

This refractive index rate of dielectric mirror coatings can be over 99 percent of the entire light spectrum. You're going to have clear, bright, and sharp images.

YouTube video

What are phase corrected coatings?

This is the phase correcting material that's applied to the prisms to help keep light loss from happening and from scattering. When light-waves pass through glass that hasn't been treated with phase corrected coatings, it will get out of sync or phase out from one another.

This will result in low resolution... you know, the not quite sharp image effect.

When you apply phase correction materials, that's another story. When light-waves pass through the glass, they maintain their flexibility and ability to remain in phase or in sync with one another as they travel the light path from the objective bell to the eyepiece.

This is what creates sharp picture quality and helps to maintain color fidelity.

Why doesn't the Trailseeker 8x42 binoculars have ED glass?

Usually when you see such high quality coatings involved in the making of binoculars, you'd typically see HD or ED glass elements thrown in the mix. However, this is usually only typical with high-end, premium binoculars.

Although this TrailSeeker has the special coatings, it doesn't have the Extra-Low Dispersion glass that provides High Definition effects. This doesn't mean it's not a quality optic.

It also means that Celestron was able to cut costs and keep them to a minimum to provide you with the lowest price possible for a top-drawer binocular.

With the dielectric and phase corrected coatings on BAK4 prisms, you're getting a whole lotta quality that's more than the roughly $200 you'll pay for this binocular.

Celestron – TrailSeeker 8x42 Binoculars – Fully Multi-Coated Optics –...
  • BaK-4 PRISMS WITH PHASE AND DIELECTRIC COATINGS: This premium-quality binocular features BaK-4 Prisms with Phase and Dielectric Coatings, which allow for increased light...
  • DURABLE, LIGHTWEIGHT BODY: The TrailSeeker Binocular has a durable magnesium alloy frame that is light in weight and fully waterproof for use in any weather conditions....

What are the metal twist up eyecups?

Most eyepieces and eyecups, and especially low budget pieces, are commonly made out of plastic with a rubber covering for comfort and ease of use. But, Celestron goes all out and makes these pieces out of metal, also with a rubber covering.

This is important to note because this area of the binocular sees heavy use and is usually where you'll start seeing wear and tear first. Since it's made out of metal and not plastic, it's extremely robust and strong and will outlast heavy and repeated usage for a long time to come.

What is the field of view on this 8x42 TrailSeeker?

This binocular has an impressive 426 feet field of view at 1000 yards. This is the total amount of area you can view from 1000 yards from edge to edge of your full field of view.

Why is this important? If you're a birder who needs to see fast moving birds, then the wide field of view is vital. The same goes with if you're a hunter and you want to glass a wide, open area for any sign of movement from a buck, especially if they've spotted you first and they're on the run.

Noteworthy Features:

  • Robust metal twist up eyecups with rubber covering for comfortable and true fit
  • Fully Broadband Multi-Coated BAK4 prisms for optimal glass and bright, sharp image quality
  • Extremely wide field of view of 426 feet at 1000 yards
  • Dielectric and phase correction coatings for ultimate resolution and max reflectivity for brighter, crisper, and clearer images
  • Impressive close focus distance of 6.5 feet
  • Fully weatherproof and fog-proof for all-weather use
  • Rubber armored body for non-slip grip and binocular protection
  • Backed by Celestron's Limited Lifetime Warranty

Our Verdict On The Trailseeker 8x42 Binoculars

To glass it up, the Celestron TrailSeeker 8X42 binoculars are one of the best you can get. Other than ED glass, it's not missing a single thing. Yes, the design is rather bulky for an 8X42, it would be nice if Celestron could make an open-bridge TrailSeeker (hint hint). However, there's literally not a legitimate complaint against this awesome binocular.

Pitting the Nikon Prostaff 3S 8X42 against the Celestron TrailSeeker 8X42 is a very appropriate match. The Prostaff offers up some very nice specs with a cheaper price that might have you swinging their way instead.

Celestron has certainly expanded their vision to include terrestrial-viewing hunters with their binoculars. You don't need a big-ticket brand to have ingenuity and advanced technology on your side, you just need Celestron.

Further Reading

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Simon Cuthbert

Simon is an avid outdoor enthusiast and the owner of Target Tamers. He is passionate about bringing you the most up to date, accurate & understandable information on sports optics of all kinds and for all applications. Simon has contributed to notable publications online and teaches beginners the technical side of optics through his extensive library of optics guides.

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